As you may know, last night was the Season 4 finale of Game of Thrones! I need to begin by saying that I haven’t read any of the Game of Thrones novels. However, I’m a huge fan of the TV series.
Since that first season, we’ve repeatedly endured ups and downs, accented with several (SEVERAL) heart-breaking moments. Of course, season 4 was no different–from Joffrey’s death, Sansa’s escape from King’s Landing, and a few ALMOST Stark family reunions (HIGHLIGHTS) to Theon/Reek’s lunacy, Tyrion’s imprisonment, and Oberyn’s death (LOW POINTS). I approached Season 4’s finale with fear and a healthy dose of caution. I mean, after watching a man’s skull literally be torn apart and crushed via his eyeballs, it’s hard to feel cheerful.
With that said, I thought the finale was brilliant. I enjoy that it was a super-sized episode (running about 66 minutes total). I like that we got to see several different characters and plot lines progress. And most of all, I love that the majority of my favorite characters are still alive! So, this post isn’t so much a recap–if you’re looking, our friends at Hypable have an excellent one–but reactions to key moments and my thoughts about Season 5.
1. Bran and the Three-Eyed Raven
Since the first season, Bran has been pursuing this Three-Eyed Raven, and it finally seems that we’re going to find out the significance. Those fighting skeletons were SCARY, and I was sorry to see Jojen die. But who are “The Children” and this old man, and why have they been keeping tabs on Bran? What does the old man men when he says Bran will not walk, but he will fly? I can’t really justify it, but when I heard this, I instantly thought of Bran flying on the back of a dragon…
2. Jon Snow, Stannis, and the Red Witch
Stannis rode into the North and saved Castle Black, but where does he plan to go from here? It’s all good and well to have a stake in the North, but King’s Landing is still where the Iron Throne sits, and it’s not clear how one leads to the other.
I LOVE JON SNOW.
He’s so brave and shrewd. Watching Jon burn Ygritte’s body was heart-breaking…but he loved her and honored her enough to return her remains beyond the Wall. I’m looking forward to seeing Jon take on an even bigger role in leading the Night’s Watch. But now that Stannis is around, I don’t know. The Red Witch probably has something up her sleeve, but that lady still creeps me out. And after what she did to Gendry last season, I’m going to need her to STAY AWAY from Jon!
Incidentally, do you think the Red Witch knows Jon’s true parentage? I have a theory about Jon that I’m pretty certain is the truth–hit me up on twitter and we can discuss!
3. Brienne vs. The Hound…and ARYA!
Watching Brienne take on the Hound was painful–like a knock-down, drag-out, no holds barred street fight. SO brutal! The thing is, I like them both…if things were different, I might actually ship them together!
The Hound is sort of like that creepy, grumpy neighbor who’s horrible to everyone, but seems to be less horrible to you. Even at the end with Arya, when he was saying all those nasty things to bait her, his affection for her still came through.
And I like that Brienne is loyal; she won’t let conventions about how she’s supposed to act keep her from being who she is. I also really liked the idea of Brienne taking Arya under her wing.
Perhaps Brienne can continue to the Aerie and save Sansa from LittleFinger (Lord knows she needs saving from pervy Uncle Peter).
Arya is another of my favorites. I just love her badassery (yes, it’s a word)! Even when the Hound told her she woouldn’t survive, she just stole his money and horse, headed for the coast, and finagled her way on board a ship to Braavos!
Arya is hell-bent on seeking revenge against those who have harmed her family, and if anyone can obtain vengeance, it’s surely her. I wonder if she’ll be able to find someone in Braavos to help her…? More importantly, I really want Arya and Gendry to reunite. We haven’t seen Gendry since he escaped from Stannis and the Red Witch via row boat. It isn’t TOO far-fetched to think Gendry found his way to Braavos too, is it?
4. Daenerys Targaryen: Mother of Dragons, Breaker (and Maker) of Chains
Dany is my queen. In all honesty, if I could pick anyone to sit on the Iron Throne, it would be her. She’s another badass female–compassionate, but has NO compunctions about using violence to lay the smackdown and do what she feels is right. I’m sure I don’t have to remind you about the end of Season 2…and the end of Season 3…
Ultimately, I think this season has been a learning experience for Dany, in particular, learning about the difficulties of ruling. The slaves she freed want to return to their masters, and her dragons are acting a fool!
At the beginning of the season Ser Jorah told her that the dragons wouldn’t be tamed, not even by their Mother. And at the end, we see the dragons killed flocks of sheep, killed a young child, and one even escaped. So to protect her people, Dany imprisoned her remaining two dragons. It was clear that Dany felt some distress as she chained them and walked away. But disciplining her children, while difficult, was necessary.
Moving into the future, I’m very concerned for Dany. First, I miss Ser Jorah! He did betray her, but I think he made up for it. Jorah is Dany’s most trusted advisor, and with him gone and her dragons locked away, she seems vulnerable.
5. Happy Father’s Day, Tywin Lannister…JK!
First things first: I’m glad Tyrion escaped. (By the way, does anyone else think that Peter Dinklage has earned himself an Emmy with his PHENOMENAL performance this season?!)
I’m not necessarily happy that Tyrion killed Shae, but she had to pay for her multiple betrayals.
And Tywin…shot with a crossbow by the son he loathes while using the bathroom…it was quite an ending for the Lannister patriarch. I feel no great love for Tywin, but in all honesty, he was the one holding the Lannisters together. He made the alliance with the Tyrells. He was the one keeping the Iron Bank and the encroaching debts at bay. And the only thing preserving what is left of Cersei’s sanity was fear of her father. With Tywin gone, the Lannisters are broke and crazy. They’re going to have a hell of a time trying to keep the Iron Throne.
All in all, I’m extremely excited for Season 5 and the fact that we have to wait about a year is making me twitchy. But we’ll be at San Diego Comic Con next month, and George R. R. Martin, the showrunners, and cast members usually attend. We’ll make sure to bring you any teasers we might get during the panel!
So, what did YOU think about Season 4 and the finale? Do you have any questions or theories?